2010-04-12: Dial N For Novak



Date: April 12th, 2010


Sarissa is looking for Elisabetha. She was given a phone number to call if she was in trouble. Guess who is on the other end of it?

"Dial N For Novak"


A day. A day has gone by and Elisabetha has not returned. She left a note that explained her absence… 'I have gone to meet the neighbors. I will be back before dark.' Dark had come. No Elisabetha. Morning had come. No Elisabetha. It was now evening of the next day. Sarissa had spoken to the neighbors of course. None of them had seen her. In broad daylight, she just vanished after leaving the house, and in the middle of a very good neighborhood too.
Sarissa had noticed the construction crew working to repair the street that had been just fine earlier yesterday. And the yard workers planting a new lawn and bushes in a yard that had been pristine before Sarissa left the house. All sorts of oddities. She couldn't know the truth just from these details, of course. But she could tell something had happened.
And so, standing in the living room of her new house, looking out the window at the street, between the blinds, she has called a phone number given to her the day before, by a man who specialized in getting people with abilities out of the U.S. Novak wasn't the only one with contacts. Though oddly… Novak is exactly who she is calling, despite not knowing this herself. Small world.

Novak is off of work at the moment. Only for a short time, because Delta Protocol is gearing up for something major. He does not know what despite his discrete attempts to find out. He is not a master computer hacker. He has no techno-interface-ability or what-have-you. He just can see the patterns in the data. He can arrange the information in his head, and see where it all fits. When one can do that… One does not need to take programming classes. Just put the pieces together like a puzzle. It really is as simple as that.
But now he is back at his apartment. It is being watched still, of course. He knows who is watching it and how and from where. But that does not mean he can do whatever he wishes without being seen. So he resists the urge to check and see if anyone has gotten into the counter-agent to the Delta Formula he informed Rebel about. He can tell someone has been in his apartment by the very slight tell-tale signs of the room being messier than when he left it. But that doesn't mean it was the 'good guys' who were in here. He has to wait until the guard changes to check anything. Right now, it is time to sleep — something he has denied himself for too long in his personal quest to create a depowering formula that works on a permanent basis.
Then his cell-phone rings. He hesitates for a moment, tilting his head at the sudden noise. He keeps it on a dull, quiet, unobtrusive ringer so that it does not hurt his sensitive hearing. He reaches into his pocket as it rings a second time. He withdraws it and flips it open before the third ring can finish. He caught sight of the number that was calling him. He does not recognize it. Good.
He holds the phone a few inches away from his ear and says, "Good evening." Then, "Who is calling?"

Sarissa listens to the phone ring twice, and lets her fingers slip from the blinds, in order to cross that arm over her chest, and cradle the elbow of her other arm. As the third ring starts, she frowns, and prepares to hang up. Then someone picks up. There is silence for a moment, and then she hears a familiar voice on the other end. "…." she offers in surprise. Many feelings are stirred up by hearing that voice. Surprise, confusion, anger, pain, affection, and then back to confusion. "<…I need not identify myself at this time. It would be… Risky.>" she finally says in Italian.

Novak doesn't react in terms of facial expression except to look at the phone out of the corner of his eye, as though he had discovered he was holding a gun to his head. "…<You don't say. Italian feels a bit odd on my tongue after going so long without use>," he ends with a half-chuckle, smiling as though this were a pleasant surprise rather than the dire portent it actually is.
"<What may I do for you, caller?>" he asks politely.

Sarissa picks up on the unspoken part of what Novak responds with. He understands she is not to be identified… And further has not questioned why. Meaning either he is not alone, or he suspects she is not alone. Either way, the goal is met. She responds, "<I was given this number by a mutual acquaintance. He said if I needed help with travel arrangements I should call.>" Unlike Novak, Sarissa is scowling. She suddenly turns and starts stalking around the house, making sure the doors and windows are closed and locked.

Novak nods to himself and says, "…<Ah. Ah, I see! 'Travel arrangements', is it? Well, you have called the right person. I happen to know a bit about how to navigate the chaos of American airports and harbors and so forth. It can be so confusing. What method of travel will you be using?>" He is definitely speaking in coded phrases. He has no misconceptions that he is being listened to, or that his phone records can be recovered by those he works for.

"<I am not going anywhere.>" she states fiercely. "<Not until I find my daughter. We have become seperated.>" That is true enough, though not at an airport or anywhere like that. Right here by their new home, her daughter has vanished. She thinks Novak may know something about it.

Novak stiffens a bit, all emotion vanishing from his face, even as the color drains out of it. He feels dizzy. He sits down on the bed. "<Seperated, you said? How… Unfortunate. You have, of course, contacted local helpers?>" He doesn't mean the police. He means, 'Did you check if anyone saw anything?' Already the possibilities are racing through his mind, despite the words he is speaking. 'Was Elisabetha picked up by Alpha Protocol? Was she kidnapped by some murderer or rapist?' And then the most horrific idea of all comes to Novak. 'Did Sylar get her?' At one time he wanted to feed Elisabetha to Sylar. Now he is terrified by that possibility, and repulsed by the fact he could ever have thought that was a good idea.
All of this and more goes through his mind in an eye-blink. He may not have superhuman reflexes or anything, but his mind whirs along quite quickly with almost mechanical efficiency. All the different paths that can be taken. All the different possibilities. They're staggering. He almost forgets he's even talking to Sarissa.

"<Of course I did!>" she snaps. Her own emotions are showing themselves finally, in the form of anger. She is more distraught about Elisabetha's disappearance than she let on to any of the people she spoke to. More than she even admitted to herself. "<I've talked to everyone around, and none of them knows anything! Now can you help me or not? I need to know how to find my daughter. Then I want to get >out< of this idiotic country of idiots!>"

Novak hears her words dimly, and manages to side-track his thoughts long enough to respond. "<I'll do what I can. I have to check a few things. I'll call you when I know more.>" Then he hangs up without even saying goodbye. He has to check things alright… Which involves going back in to work. He's so tired. But for the moment, at least, Novak can't afford to waste time resting. Rest is for the dead.

Sarissa hears the phone on the other end hang up. Her eyes dart back and forth furtively for a moment as she calls, "<Hello? Hello!? ANSWER ME, YOU BASTARD!>" Then she finally gives up and turns off the pre-paid phone, resisting the urge to throw it through a window. "AAAAGGHHH!" she screams. Sarissa is not a woman who deals well with being at the mercy of others. She wants to be the one in control. And right now, she is anything but.
"I hate this country," she whispers to herself, wiping tears she is unaccustomed to shedding from her eyes.

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